We are thrilled to announce our winners from our first sticker contest! Thank you to everyone who submitted and shared with us their Korean American story. It was amazing to see the different things that inspired you and to have them interpreted into a sticker.
1st Place: Shashi Arnold
The Michelle Zauner K-pod episode really resonated with me. I am also half white and half Korean, I also grew up in Eugene, OR, and I am also pursuing a career in the arts. Seeing an experience that so closely reflected my own and one that was acknowledged as a valid Korean American story was incredibly validating. Being biracial, I’ve struggled a lot with the duality of identity. I often feel a push and pull between my connection to Korean culture and overall American culture, between my Korean family and my white family, between both the discrimination and privilege my ethnic makeup has given to me. Inspired by this concept of two parts making up the whole of my experience, I decided to illustrate a girl who is visibly split down the middle. On one side she wears a hanbok, while on the other she wears more modern and less traditional clothing. The hanbok itself is the same color and pattern as one I had when I was younger. Though the right side is a less obvious tribute to Korean culture, she still wears a small Korean flag patch on her jacket. I wrote “Proud of our culture” in Hangul, which in connection with this image conveys pride in Korean culture and tradition no matter what form it may take. There are so many different Korean American stories, multicultural, multiracial, multi-generational, and the list goes on. I hope the owners of these stories can each feel proud of their version of what it means to be Korean American.
About Shashi: Hello! I’m Shashi, a freshman illustration major at Pratt Institute. I love to create narrative illustrations centered around strong, female characters of color. As I enter the arts industry, I hope to use illustration to highlight the often missing stories of the Asian American experience.
2nd Place: UMass KSA
The sticker design depicts the connection of KoreanAmericanStory.org and the audience they reach through their unique storytelling. The hand on the right with the KoreanAmericanStory.org bracelet represents the organization. The other hand represents the individuals with their story as Korean American and the audience who connect with such narratives. The 약속 (“yak-sok”) or the pinky-finger speaks for the connection between the three entities. The linked pinkies represent the author and KoreanAmericanStory.org creating content for their audience, and the touching thumbs represent the audience who read and listened to these stories. The megaphone illustrates KoreanAmericanStory’s ability to have the general public hear the stories heard through their content creation. To finalize everything, the center of the Korean flag in the background represents our identity and heritage, Korea.
About UMass KSA: The Korean Students Association was founded at UMass in 1989 and is a cultural student organization dedicated to promoting Korean culture and heritage. Furthermore, we strive to unite members of the student community through various Korean-styled events and outings.
3rd Place: Erna Pearl
This sticker was inspired by one of the stories in the KoreanAmericaStories.org entitled “are you hungry are the sweetest words” by Kyunghee chen. It’s just a simple story with a great impact, because it stated the fact that everyone has a different way of expressing love. Like the story, she’s craving for love and I love you’s that she thought she’s not receiving from her parents, but little did she know that it’s in the words “are you hungry?” and those served food which are made of love and hope. That is why my sticker has a bowl of rice and with a heart. And as you can see, the bowl was reading, and that represents me who read and was inspired by it. And the book itself represents ‘another chapter of someone’s story that was able to share’ through this organization.
About Erna: Hi! I’m Erna Pearl but they call me by my nickname ‘apple’, and the fun part is… I want to become a doctor. So ‘no more an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ haha. I love arts and reading stories, that’s why I enjoyed joining this contest. Thank you.